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Yardage book or gps/rangefinder?


36 replies to this topic

#1 STL_Baller

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 01:11 PM

Not really a debate on which is better, but which do you prefer and why?   Mainly for your home course (or at least courses you play more than once a month).





For me I play 2-3 courses pretty regularly, and while I enjoy the simplicity of a GPS or laser, I have found that on occasions when I have played using a yardage book (professional printed purchased at the course or hand sketched through numerous rounds) that I play more high percentage shots and manage my misses much better than when I just grab a number and hit.  I don't take a bunch of extra time when using a book, I just manage my idle time a little better.  Seems the visual reminders of where to hit it, how much room I have and where not to hit it help me make better decisions than just visual cues and a yardage to the front/middle/back.


What's your preference and experiences?


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#2 Z1ggy16

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 01:15 PM

Laser. Yardage books are fun but I don't have all day to walk distances off and do math in my head.
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#3 golfgirlrobin

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 01:18 PM

GPS/Rangefinder.  I don’t have the patience for yardage books and stepping off yardages.
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#4 tsecor

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 01:20 PM

neither. eyeball it and let it rip

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#5 davep043

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 01:22 PM

I use a laser regularly, both at my home club and when I travel.  But I love yardage books, and collect them when I play new courses.  I honestly like a combination.  I can get a "middle" distance from a yardage book, and pin distance with the laser, and try to pick the smart distance to hit.  I like the awareness of the entire hole layout that a good yardage book gives.  The best I've found were just recently in Scotland, the StrokeSaver books had a ton of information on green contours that really helped in selecting a target on the green.  You can see a sample here:
http://www.strokesav...nald_links_2014
Playing in the wind, there was no need for very precise measurements, I bet I didn't use the laser more than a dozen times in 10 rounds.

Edited by davep043, 28 June 2018 - 01:24 PM.


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#6 kmay__

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 01:26 PM

I just use the fairway markers, pretty easy to tell I find, but I'm also not at the level of playing where I know my exact club yardages, nor do I accomplish the exact shot every time with every club. Cant stomach the price of a laser finder at my level of play.
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#7 walpy

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 01:29 PM

I use both. Laser and yardage books. I make mine normally.

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#8 macedan

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 01:32 PM

View Posttsecor, on 28 June 2018 - 01:20 PM, said:

neither. eyeball it and let it rip

This, or if I remember to charge my phone the night before I often use the 18 Birdies GPS. Proves to be fairly accurate in my area and honestly has helped me improve a decent amount.
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#9 jjbubba72

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 02:06 PM

I use a combo of laser and pin location chart.

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#10 Naptime

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 02:10 PM

Laser.


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#11 gc444

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 02:17 PM

Laser, but not opposed to using GPS though.

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#12 Ri_Redneck

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 02:19 PM

Garmin Approach S6. Front, middle, back, layup and hole diagram with hazards. Just can't get the pin. Need a laser for that.
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#13 sheppy335

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 02:50 PM

I will use all, GPS and yardage book really make me feel good.
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#14 Mcgeeno

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 02:55 PM

Do you have a compass and protractor for the yardage book like Deschambeau?

GPS.

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#15 LaymanM

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 03:08 PM

Laser with no slope.  GPS with an overhead map is helpful on a course I've never played but 99.9% just play with laser

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#16 Tex1986

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 03:16 PM

Laser.

It gives me all the info I need. I can get yardages to bunkers, hazards, different parts of green, etc in addition to distances to flag.

I’ve never used a yardage book, but with tee boxes getting shifted, and my ball not always landing next to a marker or land mark, I’m not sure what a yardage book would offer that a range finder couldn’t give me.

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#17 Hit em good

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 03:44 PM

I've never had a yardage book, so I'll say my GPS.  

It's gotten annoying to me to see the pros on TV continually pull out their yardage books.  For some, it looks like a habit, like when my teenager continually looks at his phone.
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#18 Dan Drake

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 04:47 PM

I am not a fan of lasers for the vast majority of golfers, and I'll tell you why.  I firmly believe that having the exact number to the pin leads to far to many people playing for only their best shots (the top tip of their shot/scatter pattern) to even come close to being a good shot.  Shots bury in greenside bunkers, in rough, and in hazards, even though they may have been reasonably executed attempts.  

Much preferred, at least to me, is GPS/Yardage book.  Find out the middle to middle-back yardage to the green and start your calculations there.  Also, you need to know how deep the green is a different points and angles to come up with the best number for the center of your shot/scatter pattern.  Sure, this can be done by someone playing their home course where they get a bunch of rounds a year in.  But on a blind or even seldom played course, no chance.  

How many of us have played the typical "upside down triangle" shaped green with two bunkers guarding the narrow front third of the green?  You laser it and now you are trying to fit a shot onto a spot where you need to be a tour-quality ball striker to hit that spot consistently.  But you lasered it and you know your yardages, right?  So, you make a birdie or two, but you also bury it in the two bunkers over and over again, making bogies (and doubles) all while the frustration mounts.  But just 6 paces back from that front hole location the green widens out to 25 yards across and all of the sudden, you just about can't end up with worse than a 45' chip back towards the hole, and the majority of the time you'll have a 20' - 25' birdie putt coming back at it.

nGIR is the #1 stat that correlates to score.  Play a round using the yardage exactly between the middle of green yardage and the back edge yardage (except in very drastic or obvious situations) and see if your round isn't more fun and your score a lot lower.  To me, those numbers are just hard to get with a laser.
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#19 byflow2

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 05:16 PM

Laser here. Yardage books are fun though
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#20 Drewmiller07

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 08:22 PM

View Postbyflow2, on 28 June 2018 - 05:16 PM, said:

Laser here. Yardage books are fun though

I do really enjoy just using a book. I find the garmin gps gets you close, but you can really pin point distance with a yardage book.

I don’t use a range finder as it would be even better than both the other two. Not that I wouldn’t, I just haven’t bought one because my gps does the job.


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#21 Golf64

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 07:52 AM

My S2 does the job for me. ;)
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#22 BForrester

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 08:15 AM

Rangefinder.  It's nice to be able to shoot anything on a hole and get an exact yardage.  Some GPS can do that, some can't.  I don't have to worry about finding satellites, paying subscription fees, loading courses, etc.
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#23 Ri_Redneck

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 02:08 PM

My problem is getting those pin placement books from the pro shop. They look at me funny every time I ask for one. Cork Soakers!!!

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#24 ThinkingPlus

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 09:51 AM

Laser rangefinder provides the most accurate distance to target. I want to minimize all error sources so distance measurement needs to be accurate. Given how I am having to judge wind, elevation change, lie, temperature, etc... I don't need the additonal error of GPS or walking off steps relative to a yardage book that is only accurate relative to course features at best.
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#25 Bye

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 10:00 AM

Laser, I tried gps, it was ok but I wasn’t pin high very often, gps is useful especially when you have a pin sheet or combined with a laser.

The battery went flat in my laser during a match last year, it was actually fun going old school and pacing out the distances, just for one round.

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#26 evgolfer

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 10:02 AM

I use an old Bushnell neo plus gps. Gives front, middle, back. There's a feature for distance to hazards that I haven't used. Very quick to pull out, look at, and keep moving.

I have hand drawn a yardage book for a course I sometimes play. It helped me visualize a strategy for the course, but I didn't use it -- and frankly wasn't good enough to capitalize on the strategy.

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#27 NEhomer

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 10:08 AM

View Postkmay__, on 28 June 2018 - 01:26 PM, said:

I just use the fairway markers, pretty easy to tell I find, but I'm also not at the level of playing where I know my exact club yardages, nor do I accomplish the exact shot every time with every club. Cant stomach the price of a laser finder at my level of play.

What actually happens is that you become aware of your club distances after spending time with the laser rangefinder instead of the other way around.

I got my Nikon Coolshot 40 for $130.00 on ebay. Money well spent.

As for the OP's question, I've never seen a yardage book.

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#28 evgolfer

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 11:11 AM

View PostNEhomer, on 03 July 2018 - 10:08 AM, said:

View Postkmay__, on 28 June 2018 - 01:26 PM, said:

I just use the fairway markers, pretty easy to tell I find, but I'm also not at the level of playing where I know my exact club yardages, nor do I accomplish the exact shot every time with every club. Cant stomach the price of a laser finder at my level of play.

What actually happens is that you become aware of your club distances after spending time with the laser rangefinder instead of the other way around.

I got my Nikon Coolshot 40 for $130.00 on ebay. Money well spent.

As for the OP's question, I've never seen a yardage book.

I agree with this. I was skeptical of the utility of GPS, etc. back in the mid-2000s, until a course I played regularly added GPS to the carts. It had auto-shot advance, and would tell you how far you hit each shot. It was an eye-opener, and very useful, and so much quicker than looking for markers/sprinkler heads.

I bought a handheld GPS shortly after.

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#29 BlackDiamondPar5

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 05:55 AM

GPS supplemented by periodic use of laser for specific features (distance to tree on corner, layup area, hedge row, pin on par 3).

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#30 Twism86

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GolfWRX Likes : 89

Posted 04 July 2018 - 02:38 PM

If you play a course so often, why do you even need a rangefinder? At my local course I pretty much know what club to it from various point after playing it many times.

Im also not that good and cant dial any club in to a 5 yard range. I play along the lines of "I can hit the green with a 7i from here." Im no where near the point of being good where I would use 7i for the front or 6i for the back edge of the green.


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